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In Memoriam: Dr. Lynette Denny

Dr Lynette Denny

mothers2mothers (m2m) is mourning the death and celebrating the life of Dr. Lynette (Lyn) Denny, a cherished member of the m2m South Africa Board. Lyn’s unwavering commitment, visionary leadership, and compassionate spirit were instrumental in advancing m2m’s mission from our early days to the present.

An ardent advocate for maternal and child health, Lyn dedicated her career to the field of cervical cancer prevention and research, with a particular focus on less-fortunate communities. She served as the Chair and Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Cape Town and was a registered sub-specialist in gynaecological oncology at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. In 2021, she received the Order of the Baobab, South Africa’s highest accolade for citizen excellence. Her illustrious career and essential humanity is described beautifully in this Daily Maverick tribute: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2024-06-10-a-life-of-service-prof-lynette-dennys-selfless-dedication-to-improving-healthcare-for-sa-women/

A member of the Board of m2m South Africa since 2021, she served as a member of m2m’s Global Programme Committee, which helps to set and monitor m2m’s programmatic work. Lyn had been a friend to m2m since our inception—befriending m2m Founder Dr. Mitch Besser when he joined the University of Cape Town, Department of OBGYN faculty in 2000; and encouraging his interests in establishing prenatal care programmes for women living with HIV. She was a confidant and early collaborator in the design and implementation of what was then Mothers2Mothers2Be’s (M2M2B) first programme at Groote Schuur Hospital; and was a vocal supporter of the programme within the department and hospital.

Lyn continued to encourage Mitch as M2M2B became mothers2mothers and its efforts expanded programmatically and geographically to include comprehensive care for women and their families across Africa. Her extensive experience and deep insights quickly proved invaluable in shaping our programmes, ensuring they were both innovative and impactful. Equally important, her dedication to the communities we serve helped ensure we always kept our clients at the forefront of our thinking. Ultimately, her inputs helped steer our work towards greater effectiveness and reach, positively influencing countless mothers, children, and entire families. 

Please join us in celebrating her life, and in keeping Dr. Denny’s family, friends, and colleagues in your thoughts during this difficult time. We remember her not only for her professional achievements but also for her kindness, dedication, and the positive impact she had on all of us.

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